7. Collaborate.

Work as a real team. Collaborate with each other, our customers and our partners to find the best solutions. Don’t argue over who is right. Discuss what is right. Collaboration generates better ideas than individuals working alone.

Jim's Message:


I like the word Collaborate because it complements our core values of Teamwork and Communication. On a team everyone has their own role. A great example is a basketball team. Everyone has their own job; point guard, shooting guard, center, etc., even the fans – they all have the same goal. All In!! With collaboration the group not only has to work together, they have to think together. The end product comes from the efforts of the group, not the individual. If the FBI, CIA and the State Department had been sharing and thinking and working more closely together, 9/11 may not have happened.

So what are the keys to successful Collaboration?

  • Need – you must have a strongly felt need, which results from Understanding the Why. It must be strong since collaboration takes time and energy, that’s sustained by need and desire.
  • Trust – good collaborators are able to speak openly about what they believe, feel and think – to be vulnerable. Trust is earned through deed: by coming through, being dependable, carrying your weight, being willing to take risks for others – going the extra mile.
  • Communication – After trust is established, effective communication keeps the collaboration going, complete transparency is the key.
  • Equality – successful collaboration involves work among equals, no rank – no titles   . There needs to be equality in power and in sharing of authority.
  • Respect – finally, successful collaborations are built on respect. Respect is about leveraging each other’s experiences and strengths, listening for understanding, accepting different perspectives and not being concerned about who gets the credit.

Our company and colleagues like Mike Castillo, Lexi Elliot and many others demonstrate collaboration in action by the energy that moves us to realize and act on great ideas. It’s exciting to think about the future that will result from collaborating to address the opportunities that we have collectively identified and pursued with our colleagues, customers, suppliers and other business partners.

“Unity is strength. . . when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” –Mattie Stepanek


Jim Sage
Chief Information Officer